When California launched legal adult-use sales on January 1 of this year, with massive international news coverage and heated anticipation regarding sales, people wondered not only about how much marijuana consumers would buy. Questions about what kinds of products, too, dominated industry and media conversations. With fresh data from cannabis market research firm BDS Analytics about June sales in the Golden State, we can explore the first six months of sales in California.
This first six-month review will focus on edibles, the most brand-intensive segment of the cannabis market.
When sales began in January, sales of edibles represented 16 percent of all cannabis sales during the month, with flower leading the charge, capturing 43 percent of sales, and concentrates hitting 30 percent. In June, edibles market share remained at 16 percent, but flower’s fell to 38 percent while concentrates share rose to 33 percent.
Edibles market share might have remained the same during the first half of the year, but sales of the different kinds of edibles — chocolates, candy, beverages and so on — experienced ups and downs during the first half of 2018.
Sales of candy, like gummies and hard candies, reigned in January, capturing 33 percent of all edibles sales. Six months later candy remains in the lead, but with a significant boost in market share — up to 38 percent.
Tinctures, which grabbed 21 percent of the edibles market in January, improved market share to 24 percent by the end of June. Another rise in market share? Pills, which leapt from 6 percent of sales in January to 8 percent in June.
As these three categories saw their market shares increase during the first six months of the year, they came at the expense of two other prominent edibles categories.
In January chocolate sales represented 19 percent of edibles sales, putting the category just two points behind tinctures — the two were neck-and-neck when adult-use sales commenced — and within shouting distance of candy. But as the months passed, chocolate’s share steadily eroded. For June, chocolate was down to 12 percent of edible sales — half the market share of tinctures, and less than a third of candy’s market share. Meanwhile infused foods, like cookies and cakes, fell as well, from 14 percent in January to 12 percent in June.
With six months to go before the end of this historic year for California and cannabis, chances are sales trends will shift even more by the time we start dating our checks 2019. The question is: In what directions?